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Old 12-29-2012, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Boone, NC
1,047 posts, read 1,980,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliganO View Post
Christianity is the world's largest religion and the dominant religion in the western world. More people believe in Jesus than any other historical person, and is the most influential man.

Billions of people follow Christ, including Muslims who believe he was an important prophet and messiah.

Google for evidence of his existence
There is some historical evidence of a man named Jesus of Nazareth who went around the Middle East preaching. But where does all the evidence of his divinity or resurrection come from? The Bible, a book filled with so many contradictions and laughable inaccuracies that there's absolutely no reason to accept it on its own authority.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:01 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 15,382,398 times
Reputation: 13686
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliganO View Post
Christianity is the world's largest religion and the dominant religion in the western world. More people believe in Jesus than any other historical person, and is the most influential man.

Billions of people follow Christ, including Muslims who believe he was an important prophet and messiah.

Google for evidence of his existence
If billions of christians also jumped off the Golden Gate bridge would that make them right?
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 14,234,925 times
Reputation: 14801
I've already been a Christian; I became an atheist once I finally got the nerve to truly examine my beliefs. After that, I can't imagine any way I'd ever go back, unless I could somehow lie to myself.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,405,643 times
Reputation: 3821
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSS94 View Post
There is some historical evidence of a man named Jesus of Nazareth who went around the Middle East preaching. But where does all the evidence of his divinity or resurrection come from? The Bible, a book filled with so many contradictions and laughable inaccuracies that there's absolutely no reason to accept it on its own authority.
This.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Ohio
20,073 posts, read 14,318,068 times
Reputation: 16229
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliganO View Post
Will any of you atheists/agnostics ever consider converting to Christianity in the future?
I spent 10+ years studying both the Old and New Testaments. And, yes, I meant studying, not mouthing the words and then swooning. Studying, as in critically reviewing, analyzing, dissecting, scrutinizing, comparing, contrasting and so on.

I would say no christian has ever studied the gospels the way I did.....breaking each down by character blocking, dialog blocking, action blocking and location blocking.

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of discrepancies and errors, to the extent that the four gospel writers have a credibility level somewhere between Richard Starkweather and Ted Bundy (two serial killers in case anyone doesn't know).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliganO View Post
Christianity is the world's largest religion....
Not relevant. The fact that others "believe" is not a reason to believe. To the extent that it may be relevant, how exactly did christianity get to have so many followers?

Threat of death, fear, torture, intimidation, coercion and other evil means. I wouldn't be bragging that my religion was the largest because people were slaughtered for not believing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliganO View Post
... and the dominant religion in the western world.
Again, not relevant. To the extent that it might be relevant, why don't you ask yourself why it is dominant in the western world?

The only reason christianity is dominant in the western world is due to the fact that in 533 CE, John the Bishop of Rome, using fraudulent documents allegedly authored by Emperor Constantine, deceived Emperor Justinian into making the Bishop of Rome
“…the head of all Bishops and the true and effective corrector of heretics.”

I suspect that Justinian knew he was being lied to and deceived, but employed a case of "the ends justify the means" and saw the Imperial Roman Catholic Church as the only functioning entity in the destroyed and defunct Western Roman Empire.

I would speculate that Justinian realistically understood it would take years to raise and fund an army, and decades more to reconquer the territory lost in the West, and so any institution that was functioning was better than no institution at all (because a functioning institution would make it easier to reconquer the West).

If Justinian could have a REDO FROM START knowing what he knows now, then when John the Bishop of Rome and his entourage arrived in Byzantium with the phony forged faked documents, he would have slain them where the stood.

And that would have been the end of that.

By the year 800, christianity would have died out and no longer existed.

So the only reason christianity has survived is due to the fact that you either accepted it, or your were murdered.

And you're proud of that?

The Poles didn't convert, rather the king converted and then converted his people for them. They didn't have a choice. Then the Church sets up its economic machine and away they go. That's how it played out everywhere. You get married -- you must pay a tax to the Church; you have a child, it must be baptized -- you have no choice -- and you must pay a tax to the Church; when you die, you had to pay a tax to the Church; and you had to tithe the Church.

Those things were not optional; they were required. You don't pay the taxes or tithes to the Church, then you're haled into the Church Court, convicted of a Church offense, and sent to a Church prison.

Yes, they ran their own courts and prison system.

You're a merchant and you want to sell your goods in town? You need permission of the local abbot or bishop or archbishop, which means you had to pay a title fee, and pay taxes -- to the Church --- and also to the local nobles and king --- and then you had to tithe the Church. If you don't do that, then you cannot sell your goods.

You want to work? Then you must have the permission of the Church, which requires you to register for a permit, pay a fee, pay taxes to the Church and tithe the Church.

You people act like it was purely voluntary; it was not. Why don't you study the Dark Ages and the Medieval Period and get back to us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliganO View Post
Most people have never heard of "Zoroastrian" or whatever that is.
And why is that?

It is due to the fact that Zoroastrians didn't slaughter people who refused to believe, and didn't have an huge economic empire to hold people as hostages.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliganO View Post
If Jesus did not exist, why do you think billions follow him? He must have existed
That is illogical. Billions follow Santa, too, does he exist?

And, again, the only reason people follow Jesus is because they had no choice -- there were no options available to them.

Now that the Church has no control, and now that religion has been removed from politics, what has been happening?

People are moving away from christianity, because they can, because they have a choice, because they have options, and because they have no fear of being murdered by religious authorities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliganO View Post
My links were not religious sites. If you clearly read them, you would have known why and how.
You can put up all the links you want, but it doesn't alter the fact that there are more than a thousand contradictions, errors and discrepancies in your New Testament, and another thousand in your Old Testament.

Your links are like christian "bible study"....it totally ignores the hard questions.

Nehemiah 13:1 On that day the book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people. They found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite may ever enter the assembly of God.

Ruth 4:13 So Boaz married Ruth and had sexual relations with her. The Lord enabled her to conceive and she gave birth to a son. 4:17 The neighbor women named him, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. Now he became the father of Jesse – David’s father!

David cannot be in the assembly of god, because he is descended of Moabites.

Matthew 1:1 This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz (by Rahab), Boaz the father of Obed (by Ruth), Obed the father of Jesse, 1:6 and Jesse the father of David the king.

Jesus is descended of Moabites, because Jesus is descended of David who is a Moabite, and therefore Jesus cannot be in the assembly of god.

Do you study this in "bible study?" Nope, you're not allowed to study it. Raise an issue like this and the only thing you see is people scrambling to dodge the issue.

That, and the several thousand issues just like that are among the many reasons I quit being a christian, so why would I convert?

Questioning...


Mircea
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 33,870,200 times
Reputation: 16835
I can't remotely imagine another religion replacing the one I've had since I was ~12-years-old, that religion being science.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Florida
37 posts, read 71,413 times
Reputation: 17
I truly don't think so at this point. At one time I believed, now I don't, not because of any particular event. I had questions, I asked them, I did research ... I thought about it for a couple years, and finally was honest with myself. I'm at the point where I don't think it will change.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:46 PM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
283 posts, read 436,030 times
Reputation: 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Jesus is just as silly to me as Thor is to you. Whatever you or I don't believe in seems "funny", "silly" or "pagan".

There is actually not any historical evidence for Jesus, either. What precious little secular evidence there was, to my knowledge, consisted largely of a passing mention by Flavius Josephus, which has since been pretty well discredited as a later addition.

Actually there is quite a bit of written secular evidence that a man referred to Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth walked the Earth and indeed conducted a sort of personal ministry, circa 26-32 AD.
Apart from the Josephus wrtings--which, btw, have NOT been discredited, there also exists a rather large body of work we call "The Gnostic Gospels." These writings were discovered some 60 years ago by a couple of peasant farmer in a place called Nag Hammadi, the Middle East. They were written by a group of people called the Essenes, who were NOT part of the Judeo Church, and in fact had been banished by them as heretics.
They were an independant and objective group, with no ties of obligation to anyone, and certainly no need to promulgate legends about someone that did not exist.
As you probably know--since you guys like to call yourselves "agnostics"--word Gnostic stems from the Greek word for knowledge, "gnosis."

You might want to read Elaine Pagels' book on this subject, as it sounds like you're a bit confused. The Gospel of Thomas in this body of work is especially enlightening and will help you get a better feel for the Great Teacher whom you for some reason are hesitant to admit the existence of.

Oh, yeah, re the OP: It's a useless question to ask a current agnostic or atheist if they think they would ever become a Christian. Ten years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of me becoming a True Believer and a Follower of Jesus' Teachings. My atheist beliefs were strong enough and bitter enough that I made the most ardent and strident non-believers on this forum sound like Joel Osteen.
But then God came into my life in a way I would never have fathomed, nor could I any longer ignore.
My point being that no one can say with any degree of certainty what sort of Spiritual growth they may or may not encounter. I only wish some of the non-believers here will one day be Graced as I was.
Peace.

Last edited by Lickety_Split; 12-29-2012 at 12:58 PM..
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Boone, NC
1,047 posts, read 1,980,092 times
Reputation: 1046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lickety_Split View Post
Actually there is quite a bit of written secular evidence that a man referred to Jesus (Yeshua) of Nazareth walked the Earth and indeed conducted a sort of personal ministry, circa 26-32 AD.
That is, as I have mentioned, meaningless to me. The fact that some wanderer formed a cult around himself 2000 years ago doesn't prove that he was any sort of deity.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Canada
1,488 posts, read 1,230,026 times
Reputation: 632
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
I spent 10+ years studying both the Old and New Testaments. And, yes, I meant studying, not mouthing the words and then swooning. Studying, as in critically reviewing, analyzing, dissecting, scrutinizing, comparing, contrasting and so on.

I would say no christian has ever studied the gospels the way I did.....breaking each down by character blocking, dialog blocking, action blocking and location blocking.

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of discrepancies and errors, to the extent that the four gospel writers have a credibility level somewhere between Richard Starkweather and Ted Bundy (two serial killers in case anyone doesn't know).



Not relevant. The fact that others "believe" is not a reason to believe. To the extent that it may be relevant, how exactly did christianity get to have so many followers?

Threat of death, fear, torture, intimidation, coercion and other evil means. I wouldn't be bragging that my religion was the largest because people were slaughtered for not believing.



Again, not relevant. To the extent that it might be relevant, why don't you ask yourself why it is dominant in the western world?

The only reason christianity is dominant in the western world is due to the fact that in 533 CE, John the Bishop of Rome, using fraudulent documents allegedly authored by Emperor Constantine, deceived Emperor Justinian into making the Bishop of Rome
“…the head of all Bishops and the true and effective corrector of heretics.”

I suspect that Justinian knew he was being lied to and deceived, but employed a case of "the ends justify the means" and saw the Imperial Roman Catholic Church as the only functioning entity in the destroyed and defunct Western Roman Empire.

I would speculate that Justinian realistically understood it would take years to raise and fund an army, and decades more to reconquer the territory lost in the West, and so any institution that was functioning was better than no institution at all (because a functioning institution would make it easier to reconquer the West).

If Justinian could have a REDO FROM START knowing what he knows now, then when John the Bishop of Rome and his entourage arrived in Byzantium with the phony forged faked documents, he would have slain them where the stood.

And that would have been the end of that.

By the year 800, christianity would have died out and no longer existed.

So the only reason christianity has survived is due to the fact that you either accepted it, or your were murdered.

And you're proud of that?

The Poles didn't convert, rather the king converted and then converted his people for them. They didn't have a choice. Then the Church sets up its economic machine and away they go. That's how it played out everywhere. You get married -- you must pay a tax to the Church; you have a child, it must be baptized -- you have no choice -- and you must pay a tax to the Church; when you die, you had to pay a tax to the Church; and you had to tithe the Church.

Those things were not optional; they were required. You don't pay the taxes or tithes to the Church, then you're haled into the Church Court, convicted of a Church offense, and sent to a Church prison.

Yes, they ran their own courts and prison system.

You're a merchant and you want to sell your goods in town? You need permission of the local abbot or bishop or archbishop, which means you had to pay a title fee, and pay taxes -- to the Church --- and also to the local nobles and king --- and then you had to tithe the Church. If you don't do that, then you cannot sell your goods.

You want to work? Then you must have the permission of the Church, which requires you to register for a permit, pay a fee, pay taxes to the Church and tithe the Church.

You people act like it was purely voluntary; it was not. Why don't you study the Dark Ages and the Medieval Period and get back to us.



And why is that?

It is due to the fact that Zoroastrians didn't slaughter people who refused to believe, and didn't have an huge economic empire to hold people as hostages.




That is illogical. Billions follow Santa, too, does he exist?

And, again, the only reason people follow Jesus is because they had no choice -- there were no options available to them.

Now that the Church has no control, and now that religion has been removed from politics, what has been happening?

People are moving away from christianity, because they can, because they have a choice, because they have options, and because they have no fear of being murdered by religious authorities.



You can put up all the links you want, but it doesn't alter the fact that there are more than a thousand contradictions, errors and discrepancies in your New Testament, and another thousand in your Old Testament.

Your links are like christian "bible study"....it totally ignores the hard questions.

Nehemiah 13:1 On that day the book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people. They found written in it that no Ammonite or Moabite may ever enter the assembly of God.

Ruth 4:13 So Boaz married Ruth and had sexual relations with her. The Lord enabled her to conceive and she gave birth to a son. 4:17 The neighbor women named him, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. Now he became the father of Jesse – David’s father!

David cannot be in the assembly of god, because he is descended of Moabites.

Matthew 1:1 This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz (by Rahab), Boaz the father of Obed (by Ruth), Obed the father of Jesse, 1:6 and Jesse the father of David the king.

Jesus is descended of Moabites, because Jesus is descended of David who is a Moabite, and therefore Jesus cannot be in the assembly of god.

Do you study this in "bible study?" Nope, you're not allowed to study it. Raise an issue like this and the only thing you see is people scrambling to dodge the issue.

That, and the several thousand issues just like that are among the many reasons I quit being a christian, so why would I convert?

Questioning...


Mircea


1700 years of christian history summarized in one post
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